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A cover letter (or a “letter of motivation”, a “job application letter) is a formal document sent along with your job application during a job search. It provides additional information about your resume with the aim to introduce you in a more personal way. Also, it addresses why you are the best fit by highlighting your most outstanding achievements.
During the job search, a cover letter is one of the best ways to increase your chance of getting a job interview, which can be as important as a professional resume.
As for nursing talent, a nicely crafted cover letter with personalized ideas and details helps candidates stand out from other applicants. Therefore, we are here to help you write a successful cover letter for a nurse position.
Before walking through important tips and advice on how to write an eye-catching nursing cover letter, let’s check out an example of a registered nurse cover letter that gets you a ticket to the interview.
December 18, 2020
456 Black St., Tampa, FL 55555
Dear Mr. Thompson,
My name is Jane Smith - a registered nurse looking forward to acquiring the position as a nurse practitioner at Lacy Hospital. I strongly believe that my proven experience in relevant roles makes me a qualified candidate for this position.
After reviewing your recruitment program, I would like to express my interest in pursuing the nurse practitioner role at Lacy Hospital while finding myself a suitable candidate for the vacancy. I earned my bachelor’s degree in nursing from Chicago University, and during my recent 3 years working as a registered nurse at University Medical Center in Boston, I have developed the necessary skills to deliver impeccable health care and service towards patients. My past experience as a nursing professional has provided me with invaluable experience in various medical settings, from home health services, neonatal units, to the emergency room. I have also been assigned challenging cases that involve making complicated diagnoses.
Therefore, I'm confident in my abilities and promise to bring my diverse set of skills to contribute to your medical facility. Thank you for taking the time to review my application. I look forward to hearing back from you.
As a particular part of the cover letters for nursing jobs; it shows the addresses of both sender and receiver, which is useful in distinguishing a nursing cover letter from a resume.
The content should include your contact information (name, personal address, email, mobile number), details of the date, and the person to which the letter is sent.
Example of a header in an experienced nurse cover letter:
Louis M. Leroix
8742 W. Taylor Dr. Portland, OR 45720
February 25, 2019
Human Resource Director | Western Hospital
7753 Holler Lane Atlanta, Georgia 30051
This is where you address your nursing cover letter’s recipient.
It’s vital to address the person who is in charge of the recruiting process so you may have a greater chance of landing the interview.
💡 Tip: Use Mr. and Ms. when you already know their gender. If not, mention their full name.
In case you don’t have the recipient’s name, you can use a particular group or department (i.e Hiring Professionals).
Dear Ms. Kincaid,
In the opening section of an application letter for nursing jobs, there should be a proper greeting followed by a statement of who you are and why you sent this letter (as a perfect candidate).
💡 Tip: The key to an attractive opening in the nursing cover letter is conciseness. Try to provide exclusive details of your educational background, work experience, and job references (if any) to back you up as the best fit.
Example of a successful opening of an emergency nurse cover letter:
My name is Jane Austen - a Practical Nursing Graduate from Purdue University. Ever since I received your email of recruitment notification, I’ve been desiring to fill in the position of an emergency nurse at Gohill Hospital. I believe that with my acquired knowledge, skills, and experiences, I will be a great contribution to your organization.
To further convince the recruiters, you should include key qualifications such as relevant skills, work experience, academic performance, achievements, etc. in your nursing cover letter. This is one of the pitching parts to showcase your competencies.
Example of a registered nurse (RN) cover letter:
In my previous roles as a Registered Nurse at Boston Veteran’s Hospital, I was tasked with making medical diagnoses of 20+ patients on a daily basis. Apart from that, I was also responsible for developing and monitoring a rotational system that manages the healthcare records of the patients. My past 5 years’ experience as a nursing professional has allowed me to develop skills such as time management, attention to detail, emergency handling, etc. which I find necessary for the position you are hiring for.
To beef up your nursing cover letter, you need to state clearly why you decide to apply for the vacancy. The motivation part can be your passion for the position or its potential benefits for your long-term career path.
Example of the motivation paragraph in an entry-level nurse cover letter:
I believe that working as a practitioner nurse intern at your hospital would be a great chance for me to grow my nursing skills and real-life experience. I hope to be given an opportunity to work for your organization and to challenge myself in an ideal working environment like yours, where staff is always encouraged to learn from one another and grow together. Therefore, I decided to apply for the intern vacancy at your hospital.
This can be the final pitching point in your nursing cover letter as you can elaborate further on why you’re the right fit for the position, such as certain training, certifications, portfolio, personal projects, volunteer work, personality, etc.
💡 Tip: Try to make it personal but professional to present yourself as an outstanding candidate.
Example of a pediatric nurse cover letter:
While at Boston University, I had the chance to lead a small project for the pediatric department, where I was able to help parents to bond with their children. The great experience has given me invaluable skills and helped me develop strong personalities that I find necessary for my career as a nurse practitioner.
For the closing part, it’s important to express your gratitude towards the hiring manager’s consideration of you as a potential candidate.
With these above-mentioned details, I believe that I will be a suitable candidate for the position you’re looking for. Thank you for your time and consideration. I look forward to speaking with you.
Last but not least, don’t forget to include your sign-off and signature. Make sure to present these details in a business format to demonstrate a sense of professionalism.
It’s important to adopt keywords in your nursing cover letter as it helps enhance your qualifications and gives you an opportunity to be considered for the next round.
Both nursing cover letters and resumes are scanned by ATS (Applicant Tracking System). Therefore, using keywords will technically increase your chance of getting noticed.
Tailoring your nursing cover letter with details matching the job description is a safe bet!
In this field, there are many different nursing positions that have different requirements for each role.
Any specific skills will count, as they are what make you different from other candidates besides your qualifications. Thus, keep that in mind to spare a place in your nursing cover letter to make your nursing skills shine.
Check the list below for nursing skills:
|Soft skills||Hard skills|
|Operating room support|
Equipment use expertise
After finishing your nursing cover letter, you should spend some extra minutes going through it. This is when you check for possible grammatical or font errors. For sure, a mistake-free version of a nursing cover letter will be better considered.
A nursing position does not only require matching qualifications but also caring personalities. Little as you know, a story where you share your personal achievements and demonstrate your personality as a perfect candidate is highly recommended.
📝 Nurse Manager
As a nurse manager, you will have a lot to show your leadership skills and management experience. If your nurse manager's cover letter can include such information and relevant experience, it can be a huge plus point.
📝 Registered Nurse
In an application letter for a registered nurse, it’s important to focus on both skills and relevant experience. You also need to list out necessary certifications and licenses.
All of these details set you on a different level compared to the others.
📝 Nurse Practitioner
For a nurse practitioner cover letter, you can’t miss out on listing your master’s degree along with years of experience in the field. Highlighting such information helps increase your chance of getting to the next round while making a great impression on hiring managers.
📝 Certified Nursing Assistant
Certified nursing assistants are required to obtain specific certifications. Hence, bring it to the table as a piece of strong evidence of your qualifications on the cover letter.
📝 Staff Nurse
For a staff nurse cover letter, it’s recommended that you can present yourself as an individual who has matching personalities and skills. Therefore, try to persuade hiring managers with your compelling personal stories.
In a nursing student cover letter with no experience, it’s highly recommended that you elaborate on how the job opening will benefit your nursing career. Stating such details is a great way to demonstrate your enthusiasm to achieve certain goals and contribute to the employer.
Having little or no experience to mention in your nursing cover letter means that you have to persuade hiring managers with your educational qualifications and soft skills.
For example, convince them with your communication and teamwork skills, or relevant knowledge acquired at school.
Demonstrating your knowledge of the hospital/facility system and its operation is a good way to present yourself as someone who is always well-prepared and willing to learn. It can be quite different to work in a small clinic compared to a hospital or an emergency room.
With the above guidelines, tips, and examples, we hope to give you an idea of how to write a professional nursing cover letter.
Now, it's time to get your application letter for a nurse job noticed and land the interview!
--- Originally written by May Luong ---